NGC 4261

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NGC 4261
NGC 4261 X-ray.png
An X-ray image of NGC 4261.
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Right ascension12h 19m 23.21606s[1]
Declination+05° 49′ 29.7000″[1]
Helio radial velocity2,238±7 km/s[2]
Distance95.9 ± 8.5 Mly (29.4 ± 2.6 Mpc)[3]
Group or clusterNGC 4261 group, Virgo Cluster
Apparent magnitude (V)12.87[4]
Apparent magnitude (B)13.92[4]
Apparent size (V)4′.17 × 3′.39[6]
Other designations
NGC 4261, UGC 7360,[7] PGC 39659[2]

NGC 4261 is an elliptical galaxy[8] located around 100 million light-years[9] away in the constellation Virgo. It was discovered April 13, 1784 by the German-born astronomer William Herschel.[10] The galaxy is a member of its own somewhat meager[11] galaxy group known as the NGC 4261 group,[8] which is part of the Virgo Cluster.[10]

The morphological classification of this galaxy is E2,[5] indicating an elliptical galaxy with a 5:4 ratio between the major and minor axes. The stellar population of the galaxy is old, showing no indications of recent mergers or interactions with other members of its group. Large-scale isophotes of the galaxy are generally boxy in form, with no markers that would suggest a disruptive interaction within the last billion years. There is a dust lane along the north–south axis of the galaxy and a disk of dust around the nucleus.

Two prominent jets emanating from the nucleus can be observed in the radio band. It has an active galactic nucleus with a supermassive black hole at the core with a mass of (4.9±1.0)×108 M.[11][12] The galaxy is estimated to be about 60 thousand light-years across,[13] and a jet emanating from it is estimated to span about 88 thousand light-years.[14]

A Type Ia supernova[5] event in this galaxy was reported on January 1, 2001. It was designated SN 2001A, marking the first supernova discovery of the year. The position of the event was 3.1 west and 10.7″ north of the galactic nucleus. It reached magnitude 18.4 on December 15th of the previous year.[15]



  1. ^ a b Truebenbach, Alexandra E.; Darling, Jeremy (November 2017). "The VLBA Extragalactic Proper Motion Catalog and a Measurement of the Secular Aberration Drift". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 233 (1): 16. arXiv:1710.02099. Bibcode:2017ApJS..233....3T. doi:10.3847/1538-4365/aa9026. S2CID 119200128. 3.
  2. ^ a b c "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 4261. Retrieved 2007-03-30.
  3. ^ Jensen, Joseph B.; et al. (February 2003). "Measuring Distances and Probing the Unresolved Stellar Populations of Galaxies Using Infrared Surface Brightness Fluctuations". Astrophysical Journal. 583 (2): 712–726. arXiv:astro-ph/0210129. Bibcode:2003ApJ...583..712J. doi:10.1086/345430. S2CID 551714.
  4. ^ a b Véron-Cetty, M.-P.; Véron, P. (2010). "A catalogue of quasars and active nuclei". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 13th. 518. Bibcode:2010A&A...518A..10V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201014188. A10.
  5. ^ a b c van den Bergh, Sidney; et al. (August 2002). "Classifications of the Host Galaxies of Supernovae". The Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 114 (798): 820–825. arXiv:astro-ph/0204298. Bibcode:2002PASP..114..820V. doi:10.1086/341709. S2CID 46679854.
  6. ^ Paturel, G.; et al. (December 2003). "HYPERLEDA. I. Identification and designation of galaxies". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 412: 45–55. Bibcode:2003A&A...412...45P. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20031411.
  7. ^ "NGC 4261". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  8. ^ a b Davis, David S.; et al. (1995). "Diffuse hot gas in the NGC 4261 group of galaxies" (PDF). Astrophysical Journal. 444 (2): 582–589. Bibcode:1995ApJ...444..582D. doi:10.1086/175632.
  9. ^ "Massive Black Holes Dwell in Most Galaxies, According to Hubble Census". Hubblesite STScI-1997-01. 1997-01-13. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  10. ^ a b Seligman, Courtney. "New General Catalogue objects: NGC 4250 - 4299". Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  11. ^ a b Zezas, A.; et al. (December 2003). "NGC 4261 and NGC 4697: Rejuvenated Elliptical Galaxies". The Astrophysical Journal. 599 (2): L73–L77. arXiv:astro-ph/0310567. Bibcode:2003ApJ...599L..73Z. doi:10.1086/380895. S2CID 15195053.
  12. ^ "Hubble Finds a New Black Hole – and Unexpected New Mysteries". Hubblesite STScI-1995-47. 1995-12-04. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  13. ^ "The Virgo Cluster". An Atlas of the Universe. Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  14. ^ "The Giant Elliptical Galaxy NGC 4261". Astronomy 162 (Dept. Physics & Astronomy University of Tennessee). Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  15. ^ Modjaz, M.; et al. (January 2001). Green, D. W. E. (ed.). "Supernova 2001A in NGC 4261". IAU Circular. 7554: 2. Bibcode:2001IAUC.7554....2M.

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